Tag Archives: Integration

‘Flying Library’ project brings together Syrian, local children in Istanbul

Via Hürriyet Daily News – A mobile library with aims to bring local and refugee children together has been receiving great interest at its second stop in Istanbul, in the district of Avcılar.

Here children can come and learn about Turkish, Syrian and world literatures thanks to a partnership between the Goethe Institute, Yuva Association, and Solidarity for Refugees Association. Continue reading ‘Flying Library’ project brings together Syrian, local children in Istanbul

The Evolution of Afghan Migration in Istanbul

Afghan refugees work in an underground sweatshop in Zeytinburnu, Istanbul, Turkey.

By Yiğit Seyhan

For Afghan refugees, Turkey is seen either as a bridge to reach Europe or as a country of immigration in which they want to settle and join their friends and relatives. The continuation of war, conflict and poverty in Afghanistan pushes millions of them to seek a life in other countries. The beginning of Afghan immigration towards Turkey goes back to the first half of the 1980s. Turkish authorities initiated the settlement of a few thousand Afghan refugees with ‘Turkish origin and culture’, including Turkmen, Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Hazara origins. Turkey had already signed the Geneva Convention in 1951, but it still preserves the geographical limitation and thus does not give the refugee status to people coming from outside Europe. However, it also implements the 1934 Law on Settlement (İskan Kanunu) and uses the flexibility of this legal framework. According to this law, persons of Turkish ethnic descent and culture can immigrate, settle in Turkey and eventually receive Turkish citizenship. Such initiatives have contributed to the long-term settlement of Afghans in Turkey, and thus Turkey is perceived as a possible immigration country by Afghans. Continue reading The Evolution of Afghan Migration in Istanbul

Navigating complexity and contradiction: an interview with a Gambian businessman in Istanbul

By Helen Mackreath

Jahara Import-Export business is located in a Beyazit warehouse composed of roughly one hundred businesses, of which around ten are run by, or employ majority of, African workers from Senegal and Gambia. It is owned by Mehmud Kebbeh, a Gambian man who identifies as a migrant and a business-man.

I first met Mehmud as an interlocutor for a separate research project. As a British researcher our initial conversation encompassed discussions of some of his time spent in London and the relationship between our two countries, including the legacies of colonialism, as well as respective feelings about our “foreigner” status in Turkey. I spoke to him further to understand more about the warehouse as a space of transit, of multiple criss-crossing identities across nationality, class, gender, religion. Our conversation indicated multiple ways in which he navigates the overlaps between his business, religious and national identities; the importance of his import-export space as a social setting where migrants shed restrictive identifiers and share commonalities; and the multiple areas of hierarchy, exchange and isolation within the Gambian and Senegalese communities. Continue reading Navigating complexity and contradiction: an interview with a Gambian businessman in Istanbul

Ministry of National Education has failed the class

Via Birgün (link in Turkish) – The EU who said to give 3 billion Euro to Turkey in the frame of the EU-Turkey day for refugees, has recently paid its 2.9 billion. 1.6 billion Euro of this amount were allocated for education, health, municipality infrastructure, socioeconomic programs and migration governance. 300 million Euro were given to the Ministry of National Education and another 300 million Euro of its was given to Ministry of Health. UNICEF claims that although a large amount of money was allocated for education, 390 billion school-age refugees are still not provided with educational opportunities. 2

Turkey’s Growing Refugee Challenge – Rising Social Tensions

Continue reading Turkey’s Growing Refugee Challenge – Rising Social Tensions

EU-funded health center for migrants opens in Ankara

Via Daily Sabah – A European Union-funded migrant health center has opened in the Turkish capital Ankara, the bloc’s Turkey delegation announced Wednesday.

In a statement, the delegation said that the EU-funded center “opened today to provide health services to refugees in the Altındağ district, where the refugee population density is the highest in Ankara.” Continue reading EU-funded health center for migrants opens in Ankara

Building Markets Report Highlights ‘Another Side to the Story’ on Syrian SMEs in Turkey

Via cidpnsi The devastating scale of the humanitarian crisis in Syria has internally displaced more than six million people and forced five million more to flee across the border into neighbouring countries. The experiences of these refugees have often been reduced to a single narrative where newcomers are seen as burdens on their host communities. However, a closer look at the capabilities and contributions of Syrian-owned SMEs operating in Turkey reveals ‘another side to the story’. Continue reading Building Markets Report Highlights ‘Another Side to the Story’ on Syrian SMEs in Turkey